Demon Slayer Episode 9

Demon Slayer Episode 9

Temari Demon and Arrow Demon

During the previous episode we met Tamayo and Yushiro, two demons who are on the “good” side. Tamayo was turned into a demon by Muzan Kibutsuji, but she went on to break free from his curse which turns demons into his followers. She then turned Yushiro into a demon to save his life.

Despite being demons, these two, mainly Tamayo, work as doctors for humans and hope to one day “cure” demonization. But to do so they need to study the blood of many demons, mainly powerful ones who are close in ability to Muzan Kibutsuji. This is where Tanjirou Kamado comes in.

They need him to extract the blood of powerful demons, though exactly how this is done hasn’t yet been explained. I mentioned last week that demons, including their blood, disintegrate upon death, and so the demons theoretically must be kept alive until after their blood is analyzed.

Tanjirou Kamado from the anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Tanjirou Kamado

Unfortunately this series is only nine episodes in and already has a number of plot holes, so I doubt the extraction of demon blood will ever be explained in a way I’ll accept. In this episode the fact that Tanjirou needs to collect demon blood is reiterated while we’re shown demon blood vaporizing away, because why not?

There are other problems I have with this episode too which I’ll be covering throughout the rest of this review, but none of them are so extreme that they detract much from my enjoyment. They aren’t like the development at the end of Shield Hero episode 21 which ruined the episode for me.

Though, since this isn’t going to be covered in any of the other sections of this review, I will say that it makes no sense for Nezuko to view Tamayo and Yushiro as her family. They’re demons, and we were specifically told that Sakonji hypnotized her to see humans as her family and demons as enemies to be killed at all costs.

That’s two plot holes already this episode and I’m not even out of the introduction yet. Let’s see how many we can get.

Blindfold Technique

This next part I don’t consider a plot hole, but at the same time I have a feeling that it will never actually be explained, or at least explained well. What I’m talking about, of course, are the demon blood arts.

Despite receiving a large quantity of blood from Muzan Kibutsuji, so far Nezuko hasn’t shown any signs of having one of these techniques. However, Tamayo does have one of these techniques and it’s essentially a scent that works like a genjutsu from Naruto.

That’s fair enough, but it’s revealed that even Yushiro, a demon not produced by Muzan Kibutsuji, has a special technique of his own. So based on that we can assume that demon blood arts don’t have anything to do with the power gained from Muzan Kibutsuji’s blood.

Yushiro’s technique is the one used for concealing the house in which he and Tamayo live. He can essentially erase the presence of people and objects by masking their scent, sound, and appearance. We see him use this technique in combat to turn himself invisible when fighting Susamaru.

However, the real problem with demon blood arts doesn’t necessarily come from how they’re acquired, but rather what counts as one and what doesn’t. Sure, there hasn’t been much content for this series yet, but there a lot of abilities that are currently unclear.

By comparison, Naruto is a series for which just about every ability anyone has is explained. If you were to ask me about a particular character’s specific ability, I’d be able to tell you how its classified, what its effects are, and how exactly it’s performed. The same can’t be said for techniques in Demon Slayer.

A complex, yet easy to understand, “magic” system is pretty important for both suspension of disbelief and world consistency. Unfortunately, outside of Naruto (and Hunter x Hunter allegedly) I can’t think of many series that pull it off well.

Twelve Demon Moons

Perhaps you’ll remember that in a previous episode review, maybe the one from two weeks ago, I complained about how the introduction of Muzan Kibutsuji this early into the series was a negative? Well, that’s not all that uncommon in shounen series because it’s a simple way to set up an end goal.

I don’t think it’s a very sustainable way to set up an end goal, but if you aren’t planning for your series to go on as long as Naruto or One Piece then it can work just fine. However, I don’t think it’s a good way to set up a series that’s going to have any more than four cours, and even that’s pushing it.

Now, I’ll be honest, I don’t know how long Demon Slayer plans to run. I know this first season is going to be two cours, but I have no idea if that will cover the entire series or if there’s more that comes afterwards. My guess is that there’s going to be a second season, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Temari Demon Susamaru from the anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Temari Demon Susamaru

But why did I bring this up now? The reason is because this episode of Demon Slayer did another “very shounen” thing by introducing the Twelve Demon Moons, a group of powerful demons who work directly under Muzan Kibutsuji. You can think of this group like the Akatsuki, the Seven Warlords/Four Emperors, or even the Demon Lord’s Generals from any isekai.

The point is that I find this to be an overused trope that often times is there simply to force the plot along. It works a bit better in Naruto since it’s so long, and One Piece uses it in a much different way that I think works perfectly, but shorter series tend to use it in an almost villain of the week format.

Even JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure does it, and I personally think it detracts from that series. I’m fine with antagonistic organizations, but once you place a number on its members and say the protagonist has to beat them all to get to the final boss, it makes it feel extremely cheap.

Yahaba and Susamaru

The Temari and Arrow demons from this week’s episode are two of the Twelve Demon Moons. Susamaru is the Temari demon and Yahaba is the Arrow demon, which I found to be quite interesting. Susamaru appears to be a female, but the inclusion of “maru” in her name typically implies male.

But, Susamaru’s name isn’t the only interesting thing about this pair. What really struck me was the fact that despite being one of the Twelve Demon Moons, Susamaru doesn’t seem to have a demon blood art. Yes, she fights with Temari, but those aren’t a special ability.

In fact, what’s special about the Temari, the fact that they can seemingly change direction at random, is actually Yahaba’s vector (arrow) ability at work. The only thing special about Susamaru is that she can grow four more arms, but it’s unclear if this is a blood demon art or just something she can do because she’s a strong demon.

Yahaba is the much more interesting of the two. He has eyes on his hands which allow him to create and control vectors, which essentially dictate the direction in which energy moves. Basically he has a worse version of Accelerator’s vector ability from RailDex.

Though, while he can’t control the vectors of anything he touches, the arrows Yahaba shoots out of the eyes on his palms allow his vector ability to be used at long range. They’re also pretty versatile, making his fight against Tanjirou interesting to watch. I especially liked when Tanjiro did a flip to undo a twisting vector around his arm.

And, as far as we know, the eyes on Yahaba’s palms are the only eyes he has. We never see him open his real eyes, so we can’t be sure he has any. I was expecting him to reveal his true eyes towards the end of the fight, but he seems to have been killed before he could do so.

Interestingly, the bonus fact at the end of the episode was that Susamaru and Yahaba just met for the first time that day when they were ordered to kill Tanjirou. It’s impressive that they could work so well together on their first day, but what’s most interesting about it is that it means Susamaru was using her Temari without Yahaba’s vectors every time before now.

Conclusion

So what did you think of this week’s episode of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba? Are the plot holes too much for you, or can you overlook them? Also what do you think about the “magic” system and introduction of the Twelve Demon Moons? And, last but not least, do you prefer Susamaru or Yahaba?

If you enjoyed today’s review, be sure to click the like button ❤ down below. You should also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content or potential schedule changes (including bonus posts).

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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